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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Senator Barack Obama Claims Victory

Aired June 4, 2008 - 01:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Welcome to another hour of political coverage on this special edition of LARRY KING LIVE. It's an historic night. Senator Barack Obama claims victory over Senator Hillary Clinton. He'll be the first African American to head a major political party in the United States. Clinton is not conceding, at least not tonight. We've got some great guests, and we'll be showing you some of the best moments from tonight's speeches. The guests are, here in Los Angeles, Larry Elder. He's the host of KABC's "The Larry Elder Show," he's a supporter of John McCain. And the best-selling author as well of "Stupid Black Men: How to Play The Race Card and Lose."
Returning is Arianna Huffington, founder, editor in chief of the Huffington Post, best-selling author, her latest book is "Right is Wrong."

In Washington is Maria Cardona, senior adviser for the Clinton campaign. And in Minneapolis, our old friend Ed Schultz, the progressive talk radio host, a supporter of Barack Obama, and he attended Obama's rally earlier tonight. Speaking of that rally, we'll take a look at part of the speech that Obama delivered this evening in St. Paul, Minnesota. The venue, by the way, of the Republican National Convention. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tonight, Minnesota, after 54 hard-fought contests, our primary season has finally come to an end. Sixteen months have passed since we first stood together on the steps of the old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, thousands of miles have been traveled. Millions of voices have been heard.

And because of what you said, because you decided that change must come to Washington, because you believed that this year must be different than all the rest. Because -- because you chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations, tonight we mark the end of the end of one historic journey and the beginning of another.

A journey -- a journey that will bring a new and better day to America. Because of you, tonight I can stand here and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for the president of the United States of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Larry Elder, I know you're supporting John McCain, but there has to be some sort of warm feeling.

LARRY ELDER, TALK RADIO HOST, KABC: Absolutely. It confirms the premise of my book and one of the big themes is that we are rapidly approximating a country where people are evaluated based on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. This guy won contests in Iowa, he won contests in Idaho, he won contests in Wyoming, finished a close second in New Hampshire. I think it's an extraordinary statement about how far we've come as a country. Absolutely.

KING: And from McCain's standpoint, how strong an opponent do you expect him to be?

ELDER: I think a very formidable campaign, he dispatched Hillary Clinton, had less money, less name recognition, less of an organization at least, and trounced what most people perceived to be the front-runner. He is going to be very, very formidable.

KING: Arianna, she didn't see him coming, did she?

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, HUFFINGTON POST: No. That was really the problem. A year ago she was 30 points ahead. She was out raising phenomenally, she had the Clinton name, the Clinton organization, the Clinton rolodex. They absolutely had no idea that he could ever overtake them and here lies the untold story is the power of organizing on the Internet. The way they brought in Chris Hughes from Facebook, thousands of volunteers. And they organized young people, they organized older people, they raised millions of dollars, they organized thousands of volunteers. They got a million people to knock on doors in Ohio.

The thing that Howard Dean never did, translating the viral to the street, they did it. So that is really an amazing story.

KING: Maria, would you agree your candidate got sort of like lifted up and said, where did he come from?

MARIA CARDONA, CLINTON ADVISER: Well, look. I think the fact of the matter is -- and Senator Clinton said it tonight in her speech, that Senator Obama has run a terrific campaign, it is definitely a historic campaign by any standards, by both of the candidates, but I think that the fact of the matter is there is a little difference in how everyone is looking at this. Someone used the word "trounced Senator Clinton." This was in fact not a trouncing. This was a very close race, both in delegates and in fact in the popular vote, she overtook him. So I think at the end of the day, this was a very close race, and you have to give Senator Clinton about how she is finishing this race. And what did he did tonight was very gracious and something that was very smart and necessary and most of sincere and she is going to move forward in the best way possible to unite the Democratic Party and make sure that we beat John McCain in the fall.

KING: Ed Schultz, do you think the party will come together?

ED SCHULTZ, "ED SCHULTZ SHOW": No doubt about it, Larry. I have tremendous faith this party has overcome a lot over the years and it is all looking forward now.

Larry, I was there tonight. And inside it was an electrifying feeling. Outside there were 15,000 people listening to audio of what was being said. I mean, I didn't live in this era, but I could just imagine those listening to FDR giving those radio speeches back in World War II. And the people were clinging to the audio. And then I went to a local bar just to see if they were paying attention. They weren't watching sports. They were watching Barack Obama. I mean, this city was captivated. Barack Obama sent a message tonight. He came back to the land of Hubert Humphrey. He came back to the land of Paul Wellstone, he talked about No Child Left Behind, the core values of the Democratic Party and he spent a real message that he has come to play. And I got a feeling there tonight that it really doesn't matter who the vice presidential candidate is. I mean this guy has got game that is unbelievable. He has got generational game, he's got leadership. I think that we're still five months from the general.

KING: Larry, what does McCain have in this sense? It's generally agreed that the Democrats are going to get great control in the Senate, they're going to take a dominant role in the House and there is a national emphasis their way yet McCain is running close in the polls.

ELDER: What does that tell you? It tells me that this is not going to be a cakewalk for Barack Obama. It is a very unpopular war. Very unpopular president, an economy that is sluggish. John McCain in most polls is almost neck and neck or maybe a few points behind or even a few points ahead, god forbid, if I'm a Democrat that the economy gets better, but it will get better. Whether the media gives it credit for that or not, but it will get better.

And this war is not going badly. We are winning this war, and sooner or later the news is going to catch up with that. So those are two very prominent issues but as we go forward towards November, I think those are going to play to John McCain's strengths.

KING: And we'll have Arianna respond in a moment.

ELDER: I got a sense we won't agree. I don't know why.

KING: Still ahead, Hillary Clinton's not waving the white flag yet. We'll hear what she had to say. Stay right there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back. OK. Arianna, you want to respond to Mr. Elder's statement?

HUFFINGTON: Well, the idea that John McCain, that the people who want to vote at the moment, and Larry is right, there are 48 percent of Americans who say they'll vote for McCain, 28 percent of Americans that approve of George Bush. Twenty percent can be explained by the fact that the people are saying who they want to vote for. The McCain they want to vote for is the McCain of 2000.

KING: But they say they are they going to vote for him? HUFFINGTON: But the point is until that John McCain is unmasked, they want to vote for him.

ELDER: You're doing a makeover. Gone from being a maverick to being Bushlike. That's what you guys are going to do.

HUFFINGTON: The John McCain people want to vote for is the John McCain who voted against the Bush tax cuts. The John McCain who was against torture. The John McCain who had a reasonable immigration bill.

The new John McCain who is on the ballot now wants to make Bush's tax cuts permanent, he voted against the bill that would have prevented the CIA from using torture and he basically, he has this indefinite plan for Iraq.

KING: You think that will go way down?

HUFFINGTON: Absolutely.

KING: We had another big night tonight and that took place in New York City before Obama took the stage in St. Paul, Hillary spoke. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) NY: Now, the question is, where do we go from here? And given how far we've come and where we need to go as a party, it's a question I don't take lightly. This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight.

But -- but -- but this has always been your campaign. So in the 18 million people who voted for me and to our many other supporters of all ages, I want to hear from you. I hope you'll go to my Web site at hillaryclinton.com and share your thoughts with me and help in any way that you can. And in the coming days I'll be consulting with party leaders to determine how to move forward with the bests interests of our party and our country guiding my way.

KING: Maria, what's she going to do?

CARDONA: Well, I think what she's doing to is exactly what she said in her speech. Which is she congratulated Senator Obama for a well-run campaign but mostly this was about her supporters and it was also about this country and the challenges that this country faces. She wanted, I think, above all, to signal to her supporters she is going to continue fighting for them, she is going to continue fighting for the interest and issues that they all came up to her while she was in she visiting all of their states across this country and they took the time to tell her about what it was that they were worried about.

She thought it was incredibly important, above all, to make sure that those 18 million people who supported her across this country still know that she will continue to fight for them.

KING: Did you react, Ed Schultz, did you react negatively to her speech?

SCHULTZ: Not at all, Larry. I bet Senator Clinton and their family, they've got to process a lot tonight. And this is part of it sinking in. She's been very fair to the people who have been very loyal to her. For her to make a quick exit on the heels of some numbers that just came in really would have done a disservice for the people that have been so loyal to her and worked so hard and Barack Obama understands that and that's why yesterday in South Dakota he said he is willing to meet with her at her call and when the time is right.

This has been just a motor-grinding-type process for everybody's political engine going through this. And all of the sudden to have it end, to have Barack Obama declare and for her to end, it just isn't right.

She deserves her moment in the sun to reflect back on what she has done, what her supporters have done. It is s part of the healing process, it is total respect. I think it was a smart play tonight and the fair play and I know there are a lot of Democrats that are hurting tonight for Hillary Clinton. They can't believe it's over with.

HUFFINGTON. There is one troubling thing and this is there are facts. There is reality. And the American people are tired of an administration that has ignored facts consistently over the last seven and a half years. This is not about a well-run campaign. He has the most delegates. Period. The end. That is how the Democratic Party.

CARDONA: Larry, can I respond to that?

KING: Everybody hold it.

Larry?

ELDER: What she was doing, Larry, was running for vice president and if I were Barack Obama I would resent the pressure that he is just now been put upon. She talked about how many votes she won. She won more than he did. It was a seems to me as the nominee of the party he ought to have that choice without pressure.

KING: Maria, didn't it sound, a little sound that way?

CARDONA: No, look, again, this was a salute and a tribute to her supporters.

And I think that if anything, she has completely earned the right to take this at her own time. This doesn't mean that she's not going to congratulate him, but there is time for this. Give her a day or 10 if that's what she thinks she needs. There are a lot of supporters around this country that are hurting tonight. That's exactly right. I completely agree with Ed.

And she needs to let them know that she is going to continue to fight for them. Senator Obama tonight talked about taking a journey. She will absolutely take that journey with him. It just depends on how she is going to do that and there is time to figure that out. SCHULTZ: We're not talking about 10 days here. We're not talking about a week or 10 days. We're talking about a good 48-hour period to say goodbyes.

CARDONA: How do you know? How do you know?

SCHULTZ: Because that's the right thing to do. That is the right thing to do.

HUFFINGTON: How do you know she is going to do the right thing?

SCHULTZ: Because she cannot strong-arm Barack Obama. It will be a turnoff. She now shoulders an immense responsibility to unite the party and she's been a Democrat for 35 years and an activist. She will do the right thing. I had several senators sell me today that they feel that they're confident she's going to do the right thing.

KING: Got to get a break. Right back. Some phone calls, more highlights. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back. In his speech tonight, Barack Obama had lavish praise for his nomination rival, Hillary Clinton. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Senator Hillary Clinton has made history in this campaign. She has made history not -- not just because she's a woman who has done what no woman has done before, but because she is a leader who inspires millions of Americans with her strength, her courage and her commitment to the causes that brought us here tonight.

I congratulate her on her victory in South Dakota, and I congratulate her on the race that she has run throughout this contest.

We've certainly had our differences over the last 16 months. But as someone who shared a stage with her many times, I can tell you that what gets Hillary Clinton up in the morning, even in the face of tough odds, is exactly what sent her and Bill Clinton to sign up for their first campaign in Texas all those years ago. What sent her to work at the Children's Defense Fund and made her fight for health care as first lady, what head her to the United States Senate and fueled her barrier-breaking campaign for the presidency, an unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans no matter how difficult the fight may be.

And you can rest assured that when we finally win the battle for universal health care in this country -- and we will win that fight -- she will be central to that victory.

When we transform our energy policy and lift our children out of poverty, it will be because she worked to help make it happen. Our party and our country are better off because of her, and I am a better candidate for having had the honor to compete with Hillary Rodham Clinton.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Larry Elder? Pretty classy?

ELDER: Oh yeah. And also, he had no choice. This is a very, very close race. She barely lost it. She has rabid supporters, passionate supporters, many of whom are probably e-mailing her right now telling her not to drop out. And Larry, one more thing. Even though he has more delegates, more pledged delegates now, based on the cockamamie rules of the Democratic Party, they can go to Denver and do anything they want. They aren't even bound on the first ballot. I'm not talking about just the pledged delegates, I'm talking about both the pledged delegates and the superdelegates.

She could make the argument -- I'm not saying she will -- well, Barack Obama won a lot of early primaries, but that was before Reverend Wright, before Father Pfleger, before the comments about clinging to guns and religion, so I am the more electable candidate. She can still make that argument.

KING: Let's get a call. Ft. Smith, Arkansas, hello.

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Hi. Go ahead.

CALLER: Oh yes, my question is, why is it always being limited to Hillary Clinton as an option? The Democratic Party has a lot of bright stars. Who might they be, and can we talk about them as who the vice presidential possible could be?

KING: They do, do they not, Arianna?

HUFFINGTON: Absolutely. Others are being talked about. Senator Jim Webb, for example, a veteran, a straight talker like Barack Obama who was actually in the Reagan administration, just a great possibility.

KING: Virginia.

ELDER: Virginia is an important state.

HUFFINGTON: Senator Chris Dodd is being talked about. Even Senator Chuck Hagel is being talked about as a completely surprising ...

KING: Very conservative.

HUFFINGTON: A Republican but has been an eloquent and passionate critic of the war from the beginning.

KING: Maria, would you want your candidate to be a vice presidential nominee? You personally.

CARDONA: I think ultimately that's the best way to bring this party together and to win in November, absolutely, yes, it absolutely should be an option on the table if it's going to be the best way to bring the 18 million people who supported her around the country to make sure that they are part of this election and that they don't sit home. I think -- I think more importantly, though, I think more importantly is, again, Senator Clinton is not going to do anything that's detrimental to this party. She's going to take some time to figure this out and to move forward and ultimately she's going to do what is going to be in the best interest of this country, of this party to make sure that we do win in November.

KING: We don't ask this often, but let's try. Ed Schultz, who would you like Barack Obama to choose as a running mate? If you got to pick. Who would you pick?

SCHULTZ: Well, first of all, Larry ...

ELDER: Ed Schultz.

SCHULTZ: No, no. That would cut into my hunting and fishing time, and I couldn't do that. Cheney's had the best job out of it all.

KING: Who would you like?

SCHULTZ: I think, Larry -- well, I think John Kerry would be a great pick. He was so close. He understands the mistakes of this administration. He's got great foreign policy experience. A lot of people wrote a lot of checks for John Kerry. I think that he's got to be considered. I think Bill Richardson could help with the Hispanic vote. Who would I like?

KING: Hold on. Larry Elder who would you pick for McCain -- Yeah, who would you like? You didn't answer. I've gone to Larry Elder now.

ELDER: You've moved on. You've moved past that. Larry, can I just say about your question about the Democratic side, it doesn't matter. I think one of the panelists said that earlier. There's very little difference between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on any major issue. McCain is the one who's got the problem to bring the party together.

SCHULTZ: That's untrue.

ELDER: He's off the reservation on immigration, on McCain/Feingold. He voted against the Bush tax bills twice. He's off the reservation on torture. He's the one that's going to reach out and broaden the base of his own party.

KING: Who would you pick if you were McCain?

ELDER: I don't know. I don't think I would go with Romney, I think there's still anti-Mormon problem there. I'm not sure I would put Huckabee on. I don't know. Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana governor, is too young. He's 36 years old. He's going to have a problem. HUFFINGTON: You know what is amazing, that John McCain has surrendered on every issue that Larry has mentioned. He said he would not even vote for his own immigration bill. He surrendered on torture, he has surrendered on tax cuts, and yet Larry is still not happy. That is really his problem.

KING: He obviously has a lot of problems.

HUFFINGTON: But, you know ...

ELDER: He doesn't want to raise taxes, he doesn't want government to take over health care, and he wants us to finish the job in Iraq. These are three major issues. He'll put conservatives on the Supreme Court.

HUFFINGTON: And that's really the point I wanted to raise.

ELDER: To all my conservative republican friends upset, I'm asking you to look at those four issues and do the right thing and pull the lever for McCain.

HUFFINGTON: And I want to ask Maria and all the other women, that ...

SCHULTZ: And Larry, that brings us right to Minneapolis tonight.

HUFFINGTON: All the other women that Maria said may want to stay home because Hillary Clinton won't be the nominee, to consider the fact that John McCain is the man who would actually appoint the new Supreme Court justice which could be the end of Roe versus Wade. I think that's the argument to bring to women.

KING: Months ahead to go. And moments, long days before this week, I'm quoting poets now, a big thanks to Larry, Arianna and Ed, an Obama supporter, a McCain supporter and Clinton adviser will go at it when LARRY KING LIVE returns. Thank you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE, a special two-hour edition, half hour to go. Maria Cardona remains with us, senior adviser for the Hillary Clinton campaign. She's in Washington. In San Francisco is Kamala Harris, district attorney of San Francisco and a supporter of Barack Obama. And back with us from New York is Kellyanne Conway, Republican strategist and pollster, supporter of John McCain. Some of the key partisan themes for the fall election became clearer tonight as Obama and McCain traded jabs. Let's take a look, and then we'll get the comments of our panel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You'll hear from my opponent's campaign in every speech, in every interview, every press release that I'm running for President Bush's third term. You'll hear -- you'll hear -- you'll hear every policy of the president as described as the Bush/McCain policy. Why does Senator Obama believe it's so important to repeat that idea over and over again?

Because he knows it's very difficult to get Americans to believe something that they know is false.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCAIN: So he tries to drum it into your minds by constantly repeating it, rather than debate honestly the very different directions he and I would take the country. But the American people didn't get to know me yesterday, as they're just getting to know Senator Obama.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In just a few short months, the Republican Party will arrive in St. Paul with a very different agenda.

(BOOS)

OBAMA: They will come here to nominate John McCain, a man who has served this country heroically. I honor -- we honor the service of John McCain. And I respect his many accomplishments, even if he chooses to deny mine.

My...

(BOOS)

OBAMA: My differences with him -- my differences with him are not personal, they're with the policies he's proposed in this campaign. Because while John McCain can legitimately tout moments of independence from his party in the past, such independence has not been the hallmark of his presidential campaign. It's not change when John McCain decided to stand with George Bush 95 percent of the time, as he did in the Senate last year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: All right, Kamala Harris, I know you're a supporter of Barack Obama.

How does he shape up there?

KAMALA HARRIS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SAN FRANCISCO, SUPPORTS OBAMA: I think that Barack Obama tonight showed exactly those qualities that we want and will receive in the next president of the United States. He was graceful. He was forceful. He was substantive and he talked about the issues that America cares about. And, in particular, I think as it relates to Senator McCain, he talked about the fact that America does not define experience of a candidate based on their experience in Washington, D.C. . And, in fact, the kind of experience that we want out of the next president of the United States is actually contrary to that. And that's the candidate that Barack Obama is.

KING: Kellyanne, obviously, from looking at that, this is going to be a tough fight for Senator McCain, is it not?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST, SUPPORTS MCCAIN: Oh, yes. It's a tough fight for both of them because the country really is going to decide this on big ideas and, I think, stark ideological differences, Larry.

It was really important for Senator McCain tonight to have such a swift -- I should say rebuke, in part, against George W. Bush. And, obviously, the president will continue to raise money for him and he's the leader of the Republican Party. But I think now the onus is on Senator Obama in the next couple of days.

What will he do with the Clintons?

Will he do the same thing with the Clintons that Senator McCain is doing with President Bush, in part?

Are the Clintons luggage to take forward or baggage to leave behind?

And I think that's part of the debate in moving forward, also. It turns out that when Barack Obama's message of change resonated so well within the Democratic primary contest, it wasn't just change away from George W. Bush. That's obvious if you're voting in the Democratic primary. It's change away from the Clintons.

And I think each of these nominees are going to have to decide how they deal with the former -- former president.

KING: And, Maria, as a kind of observer, let's say the campaign will be between Senator McCain and Senator Obama.

How do you view that battle?

MARIA CARDONA, SENIOR ADVISER, CLINTON CAMPAIGN: Well, I think that certainly Senator McCain is going to have a huge challenge on his hands, especially because Senator Obama is going to have, at the right moment, all the power of the Democratic Party behind him, you know, when it is official that he's the nominee and everybody backs him.

So I think that, you know, what he -- what he showed tonight is that it is going to be another four years of George Bush. And when he talked about that people know him. People might have known the John McCain of 2000, which is very different of the John McCain of today, who did a 180 on Kamala policy and has completely alienated the Latino community. He is for this incredibly unpopular war in Iraq. The majority of Americans know that it was a colossal mistake; tax cuts for the wealthy and for the big corporations.

All of that is more of the same, which the majority of Americans do not want and they will reject in November. No question about that.

KING: Kamala, what do you fear the most?

HARRIS: Well, I actually am very hopeful tonight. And very excited...

KING: You have no worries?

HARRIS: My only worry is that we allow issues to be discussed and we don't get into the mudslinging. I think Barack Obama, again, was very gracious and presidential like in recognizing the fact, which is that John McCain has served this country and has served it well, and should be acknowledged for that.

But, really, America wants change right now. And we want a candidate who's not going to prolong having our troops in Iraq for another 100 years, but instead have a president who is focused on domestic issues, such as what we need in terms of a health care system that treats and thinks about all working Americans. That we have an education system that is affordable. Barack Obama tonight in his speech talked about the fact that many Americans are concerned that their children can't even go to college because they can't afford the tuition.

We have rising gas prices. And we have a situation where we really have to pay serious attention to the environment and have a real plan for that and a dedicated plan from a president who is committed and has been fully committed to thinking about what's going to happen in terms of the future of our country and our children's future. And it's exciting.

KING: We'll hear some callers and a little more from the tenacious Senator Clinton. And we'll get Kellyanne Conway to comment on what Senator Clinton has to say, when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Before we continue, don't forget to check out CNN.com/larryking. We've got highlights, a pod cast and our about last night section. You can download ring tones or sign up for our text alerts. Everything you need to know about our show is at CNN's number one show page, CNN.com/larryking.

As we have said, Hillary Clinton did make a concession speech tonight. In fact, she sounded like she, in fact, did not make a concession speech. It was sort of a funny speech. She sounded like she was still pressing her candidacy and credentials.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've been fighting for you my whole adult life. And I will keep standing for you and working for you every single day. Because in your courage and character, your energy and ingenuity, your compassion and faith, I see the promise of America every day. The challenges we face are great, but our determination is greater.

You know, I understand that a lot of people are asking what does Hillary want? What does she want?

(APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: Well, I want what I have always fought for in this whole campaign. I want to end the war in Iraq. I want to turn this economy around. I want health care for every American. I want every child to live up to his or her God-given potential. And I want the nearly 18 million Americans who voted for me to be respected, to be heard and no longer to be invisible.

(APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: You see, I have an old-fashioned notion -- one that's been the basis of my candidacy and my life's work, that public service is about helping people solve their problems and live their own dreams. This nation has given me every opportunity and that's what I want for every single American.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: All right. We're back.

And I want Kellyanne Conway's thoughts on Hillary Clinton's speech tonight.

CONWAY: It seemed to me, Larry, despite what some of her advisers are saying, that she didn't concede. In fact, she didn't need to concede. She just needed to acknowledge the fact that if you look at the scoreboard, the Democratic Party has a nominee whose name is not Hillary Clinton.

And I think that her -- she really stripped the luster out of Barack Obama's rightful victory tonight. And it's very telling because she probably just has a more limited window than she realizes in terms of suiting up or sitting out. If she really wants to unify the party, then she needs to find out from its nominee, who is Barack Obama, how she can best do that.

The way to not do that, it seems to me, is to carry on this fight without saying to him -- although Lanny Davis said she did congratulate him. She congratulated him on his run, not on his win.

The rest of us look up and say he's the nominee. I can tell you, the Republicans think Barack Obama is now the nominee.

I'm looking at my BlackBerry. This is who we believe we're going to be up against in the fall and we're preparing for that.

I really think what's been very harmful -- and she alluded to that tonight, as well. Behind-the-scenes it's been reported in the media, Larry, the Clintons have been calling into question Barack Obama's electability. They've been calling the super-delegates, according to media reports. And they've been saying, you know, he can't win or he can't beat McCain in the fall.

I think that has really damaged -- they've raised the specter of his non-electability. So it is really time for them to stop that and get in the game for him.

KING: Kamala, what did you think of Hillary's speech?

HARRIS: She's very passionate and she clearly, from the clip you showed, cares about the people that have supported her. And, as she said, she wants them to be heard.

I have full confidence and faith in the fact that Barack Obama hears the people who supported Hillary Clinton and cares about them equally and that he is going to exercise very good judgment and really make the decision that is in the best interests of Hillary's supporters, as well as the rest of America.

And good for her being passionate and committed to those people who have dedicated a lot of time and energy to supporting her.

You know, Larry, today is going to be over shortly here in California and already on the East Coast. And moving into tomorrow, I think we should have confidence in the fact that just like Barack Obama did when he came out as one of the earliest candidates in opposition to this war, exercising good judgment, he will exercise good judgment, sound judgment, when he makes a decision about what we do going forward.

KING: Maria, when do you think Hillary -- Senator Clinton will make that decision?

CARDONA: Well, I think she will make it when she's ready. And, again, I have to respond here to what Kellyanne was saying, because -- what she said earlier, in saying that with Senator Obama winning, it was a complete rejection of the Clintons and everything that they stand for. And I think...

CONWAY: I didn't say that.

CARDONA: Yes, you actually did.

CONWAY: No. We were talking about the V.P. selection. Please don't misquote me. I get enough of that.

(CROSSTALK)

CONWAY: I was talking about the V.P. selection. He needs to decide if the Clintons are luggage to take forward or baggage to leave behind.

CARDONA: But you said that when he won...

CONWAY: Go on.

CARDONA: ...it was a rejection of the Clintons. And, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth (INAUDIBLE)... CONWAY: Who was he running against, ma'am?

CARDONA: (INAUDIBLE).

CONWAY: You saw -- you saw tonight, when he -- when he made -- when he crossed the threshold, she was (INAUDIBLE)...

CONWAY: Did he win?

CARDONA: She was, in fact, winning in South Dakota. And she won more votes than he did. Now...

CONWAY: In South Dakota.

CARDONA: ...having said that...

CONWAY: Did he win the nomination tonight, yes or no?

CARDONA: She won more votes...

(CROSSTALK)

CARDONA: ...than he did.

CONWAY: Where?

CARDONA: Overall in this process. In this process she got more votes.

CONWAY: The popular vote. OK. Than he did.

CARDONA: And how is it...

(CROSSTALK)

CARDONA: I think the most important (INAUDIBLE)...

KING: Ladies, I've got to break in a minute.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: We'll come right back and you can pick right up, Maria.

CARDONA: ...the party.

KING: OK, Maria, you can pick right up.

What's going to happen tomorrow?

We'll ask the guests after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Before we continue our battle, we have another excerpt from the speech Barack Obama delivered tonight in St. Paul after clinching the nomination. This was the wrap-up. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Senator Hillary Clinton has made history in this campaign.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: She has made history not just because she's a woman who has done what no woman has done before, but because she is a leader who inspires millions of Americans with her strength, her courage and her commitment to the causes that brought us here tonight. I congratulate her on her victory in South Dakota and I congratulate her on the race that she has run throughout this contest.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Maria Cardona, back to you. And I don't want to interrupt you and Kellyanne Conway's conversation. So you may continue and then Ms. Conway can respond and then so can Kamala.

CARDONA: Yes, if I have a chance.

CONWAY: Thank you, Larry.

CARDONA: The point...

KING: You do. Go ahead.

CARDONA: The point that I was making is that this has been a very, very close race. And there are -- you know, 18 million people supported Senator Clinton. And they're very fervent, very passionate supporters of hers. So I think that Senator Clinton has earned some time to really take a look at this and see how best to move forward.

There will come a time -- and, you know, soon -- where she is going to make sure that the way that she moves forward is going to be the best way for the Democratic Party to unify. And she has said this time and again -- so that we go forward and we make sure that we beat John McCain in the fall, which is the most important thing for the Democratic Party.

KING: All right.

You want to respond Kellyanne?

CONWAY: I think that...

KING: And then we'll get Kamala's response.

CONWAY: That's very valiant. Yes, I want to hear Kamala for sure. That's very valiant on Maria's part. I think what you want to see in the next couple of days, Larry -- and, really, there's a small window here for Mrs. Clinton.

What is Al Gore going to do or say? What is speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the first female speaker, going to do or say?

Are they going to come out and say wow, the Democratic Party has a presidential nominee now and his name is Barack Obama?

And I think that's going to maybe not put pressure on Clinton. She seems impervious to that and to the reality of Barack Obama's nomination tonight. But maybe it will start to feel there will be some fissures in the Clinton campaign and different advisers may start leaking to the press, here's what's going on behind-the-scenes, here's who's getting the short straw and we need to go in and tell her it's time to make the call to Barack Obama. And I think you've got to keep your eye on some of these (INAUDIBLE) in the Democratic Party who have yet to weigh in, like Speaker Pelosi, like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and like former Vice President Al Gore.

KING: OK.

Kamala, you want to respond in any way?

HARRIS: Well, I think that, again, tomorrow is a new day. And after the reality of today has hit everyone -- and I think everyone has acknowledged, from Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton, that this has been a whirlwind. And today has been really a turning point. I think going forward tomorrow, we are going to see that there are going to be cooler heads that will prevail and good decisions will be made. I have faith in Democrats to do the right thing in this election cycle, in particular to end what has been really a tragedy in terms of what we've done with a failed administration and not done.

And I think that Hillary Clinton has been very clear through her candidacy that she cares about America. She cares about her supporters and she cares about the Democratic Party. And as we go forward, I think her decisions will evidence not only that care, but also her life's commitment to public service and to doing good work.

And I know and I believe that Barack Obama will embrace that and will embrace her as someone who can be a partner going forward in doing everything Democrats and Americans need and want, in terms of the leadership of this country into the future.

KING: Kellyanne, in recent national polls, Obama has a slight lead over McCain.

Does he get a bounce now?

Will that pick up because he's the nominee?

CONWAY: I expect it will because -- and John McCain did when he was finally declared the nominee for the Republicans.

KING: Yes.

CONWAY: I think it's a natural ebb and flow, Larry. And I expect that, you know, again, except for Mrs. Clinton, everybody thinks this is Obama's night and Obama's moment. And that will give him a bounce.

What's curious about most of the national polls, though, you rarely see McCain or Obama above 50 percent. And we've seen that in the last couple of presidential races. They end up being tighter than a shrink-wrapped mummy. And by all projections right now, the Electoral College and the popular vote seem pretty close right now.

But, you know, a couple of things can blow this open. I think McCain and Obama -- each put different states into play that are not traditionally for the Democrats or for the Republicans. And that's part of why Obama chose to be in Minnesota tonight.

KING: All right.

We'll get a break.

And when we come back, we'll wrap up our two hour special.

I'm going to ask each of our panelists to tell me who they would pick for their candidate's running mate.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: All right. Maria Cardona, senior adviser for the Clinton campaign, who will Barack Obama select as a running mate?

CARDONA: The question of the moment. I think for sure -- and Senator Obama has said this, too -- that he clearly has to consider Senator Clinton on the short list. But I think that there are others that are, you know, would be good, as well.

I think that other people have also said that whoever he considers, if it's not going to be Senator Clinton, that it has to be someone who has been a staunch supporter of hers and who could bring along all of those people that she has reached out to and spoken to and touched throughout this primary process.

Former Governor Rendell has been mentioned. I think he would be a great candidate. You know, but, again, this is such a personal decision and everybody likes to play this game.

KING: (INAUDIBLE)...

CARDONA: But we're not going to know until we know.

KING: Kamala, if it were your choice, who would you pick to run with Senator Obama?

Just your pick.

HARRIS: You know what, I've said it before. I think we have almost an embarrassment of riches of Democrats this election cycle. There are so many outstanding prospects from, you know, Kathleen Sebelius to Jim Webb. There are many people, I think, who could be considered to be viable candidates. And, of course, Hillary Clinton being at the top of that list. I think, again -- and agree that anyone who, as a Democrat, were the nominee, would have Hillary Clinton on the short list.

KING: OK.

HARRIS: But it is a personal decision and Barack Obama is going to make that decision.

KING: And Kellyanne...

CARDONA: And I believe that he's going to exercise the best judgment.

KING: Kellyanne Conway, if you were Senator McCain, if he said to you, who should I pick, what would you say?

CONWAY: Well, first of all, I think that Senator Obama should pick Governor Sebelius because it would put to rest a lot of the misogynist claims that some people are making that Hillary Clinton was -- she was denied the nomination because she is a woman. And, clearly, Senator Obama is not anti-woman.

If I were advising Senator McCain, I have four people right now on the short list. I have Governors Sanford and Pawlenty of South Carolina and Minnesota, respectively. And I have two women who are even talked about. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, because I think Hispanics will already be in play. Senator McCain has been able to attract Hispanics in Arizona, to extend that into Texas would be great, because Hillary Clinton did well there in the Democratic primary with Hispanic voters.

And, also, a wildcard that's been mentioned -- not my -- not in my thinking, I wish I had come up with it -- is Meg Whitman, the founder of eBay. So to have a businesswoman on the ticket with Senator McCain would be quite different and I think would allay the concerns of people who would want Mitt Romney on, but for some of the liabilities possibly, there. But they like his business experience.

So I'm putting forward -- you know, since we have five months until the election. KING: And do you think, Maria, that issues will prevail?

CARDONA: Absolutely issues will prevail, because we are at a crossroads in this country. And we are facing some of the most incredibly difficult and challenging issues that we have, I think in over 50 years. It's one of the reasons why, I think, you know, Senator Clinton, as well as Senator Obama, have been so -- have been so great at bringing new people into this process, because they are sick of the last eight years of an administration that did nothing but worsen those problems. And they see that, you know, in John McCain, it's just another four more years of this failed administration's policies. And they don't want that. And I think it will absolutely focus on the issues as we move into the general election campaign.

KING: Kamala, do you think j CONWAY: Well, that sounds very personal (ph).

KING: ...do you think Obama and McCain will stay on the issues?

Are they going to do those debates, where they travel across the country together and just do each other -- and go at each other without a moderator?

HARRIS: Well, I think that if their speeches tonight is any indication of what we see ahead, we see that Barack Obama is going to stay focused on the issues and that he is going to try and compel a dialogue that talks about what is in the best interests of America and not partisan politics.

And I'm very excited about the future in terms of what the debates will hold.

KING: And, Kellyanne, do you think they're going to do those debates?

CONWAY: I sure hope so, because that gives people a raw...

KING: Me, too.

CONWAY: ...you know, unadulterated look at the candidates one-on- one. And I think people -- I know as a pollster, people really appreciate those opportunities. So I believe they will.

Larry, it will be about issues, which is why both campaigns are going to become...

KING: We've got 30 seconds.

CONWAY: ...they're going to become more specific and solution oriented and take the pabulum and the grandiose speech, you know, down to specifics.

Also, they're going to be ideological differences.

Is Obama more like the two successful Democratic nominees of the last 40 years, Carter and Bill Clinton?

Or is he more like McGovern, Dukakis, Mondale, Kerry, Gore all these folks that have lost because they've been seen by the general electorate as too leftward.

HARRIS: So on that point, but I think...

KING: Kamala (INAUDIBLE) we've gone for the -- we're out of time, finally.

HARRIS: OK.

KING: This has been a special two hour edition of LARRY KING LIVE. We thank all of our guests and all the sprightly conversation that resulted. And we'll be doing more of it when we come back tomorrow night at our regular time, as well, 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

Don't forget to check out cnn.com/larryking. You can e-mail all of our upcoming guests. We've got a great lineup for you tomorrow -- Jesse Ventura, Ari Fleischer, Dee Dee Myers and Governor Bill Richardson. They'll all be here. That's LARRY KING LIVE Wednesday.

Election coverage will now continue here on CNN.

Thanks for joining us.